Day Tripping in Taipei: Hot Springs in Beitou

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Situated in northern Taipei, Beitou is famous for hot springs. Under Japanese rule, the Japanese built public bathhouses and fancy retreats for the emperor in this area. During the time when the U.S. military was stationed in Taiwan, this area turned into a red-light district.

[Updated in Feb 2018]

Hot Springs

The hot springs in Beitou is a low-acid white sulfur spring, so don’t wear any silver jewelry! Sulfur in water and air will tarnish silver.

There are plenty of hot spring options in the area, from $1.30 public hot tub for two hours to $1,000 a night hotel room with hot spring at Beitou Kagaya (加賀屋).

Beitou Keienn 慧薗

A hot spring place that I absolutely recommend is Beitou Keienn (It used to be the Waterhouse. The original Waterhouse was took over and ran by Beitou Keienn in 2017.) This place used to be a private club and is now open to the public. This is the only hot spring place that offers an outdoor, open-air yet private hot tub. You do need to call to reserve on the same day and show up on time. If possible, book the time slot near sunset when you get to enjoy both daylight and nighttime.

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Ask for an outdoor hot tub. The photo above is one of the four island style rooms on the first level. I believe it was Yun (雲). Up a few steps, there are six modern style rooms. The photos below were taken in one of these four rooms.

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You can stay overnight or reserve the room for 2.5 hours. The room is well equipped. You’ll be able to shower before getting in the hot tub and get ready afterwards.

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The outdoor hot tub has three knobs. From left to right, they were: natural hot spring water, cold tap water, and hot tap water.

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I visited this place in 204 when it was still the Waterhouse and then in February 2018 when it’s Keienn. During the second visit, we had problems with our room. When we turned on the hot spring, not much water came out. (See the photo on the left.) We couldn’t fill the tub and the water wasn’t hot enough. We reached out to the front desk. Someone came to check and told us we just needed to be patience while the stream obviously wasn’t right. Then we packed up and asked for a refund. The front desk finally put us in a different room. Everything was perfect.

The experience was annoying, but we will deal with this place until we find a better spot.

Villa 32 三二行館

Villa 32 is another good option with semi-open space. It’s more expensive than Keienn. Reserving a room is encouraged and yet somewhat annoying. In addition to making a phone call, you’ll have to fill out and email back a signed credit card authorization form.

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The ceiling of the shower and hot tub area allows natural light coming from above. Villa 32 has amazing service and yummy tea cookies, but the hot spring water that comes out from the faucet feels and smells like hot tap water. That was disappointment to me. For legit milky hot spring water with a light sulfur scent, Keienn is still the best.

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Walking Tour

If you would like to spend some time in the area before getting in the hot spring, here is a suggested walking tour.

Take the metro to New Beitou station on the red line. Head east toward the Beitou Park on Zhongshan Road. First you will see the Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch. When on Earth named it one of the 10 coolest examples of “green buildings” in 2015.

A little further up the hill, the Beitou Hot Spring Museum is on your right. This building is a Japanese take of a Victorian style Roman bathhouse built in 1913. Near the hot spring museum, you can take a peek at the open-air public hot spring.

The next stop is the Plum Garden, a Japanese house built in the 1930s. It turned into a summer house of a famous cursive calligraphy master, Yu Youren. His calligraphy is on display in the Plum Garden. From the New Beitou metro station to the Plum Garden, it is about 10 minutes in walking distance.

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There is an additional five-minute walk to the entrance of the Thermal Valley. The Thermal Valley is an outlet of a low pH level hot spring that gets to 194°F. Depending on lighting and humidity, the steam can make the valley look pretty dreamy.

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Beitou Keienn 慧薗
No.22, Yinguang Lane., Wenquan Rd., Beitou Dist., Taipei City 溫泉路銀光巷22號
02-2893-5885
Tue – Sun 10:30 am – 9:00 pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
(Call to confirm hours and make reservation.)
Walking from metro: Google Map “Xinbeitou Station, Taiwan” to “No.22, Yinguang Ln.,
Wenquan Rd., Beitou Dist., Taipei City” (Do not type in Waterhouse Beitou. That takes you to a different
hotel.)
Taxi: Take the metro to Beitou Station or Xinbeitou Station and then take a cab

Villa 32 三二行館
www.villa32.com
No. 32, Zhongshan Rd, Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan 112
02-6611-8888
NTD $2800 / USD$94 for 90 minutes
(Closed from June 15 to September 15 for remodeling.)

Beitou Hot Spring Museum 北投溫泉博物館

No. 2, Zhongshan Rd, Beitou District, Taipei City
Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Free admission. No Shoes.

Plum Garden 梅庭
No. 6, Zhongshan Rd, Beitou District, Taipei City
plumgarden.taipeitravel.net/en
Free admission. No Shoes.

Thermal Valley 地熱谷
Tuesday to Sunday,
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Free admission.

Waterhouse 水舍銀光
www.waterhouse.com.tw
New location to be announced

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